Our library has grown even more, with 233 books, and our newest addition, “Atheist Voices of Minnesota”, was donated by August Berkshire (who spoke on September 18)! You can check out a book from the library (see the collection here), we also have several copies of various issues of Skeptical Inquirer and Free Inquiry which are free to anyone. You may visit the community center by making an appointment (just email secular[at]indiana[dot]edu) or stop by when there is an activity in the community center – these will be listed on the events calendar about week in advance.
Freethought Day is the annual observance by freethinkers and secularists of the anniversary of the effective end of the Salem Witch Trials. Freethought Day is traditionally observed on October 12th. SAIU will celebrate on Wednesday, October 10th by tabling from 10:30am – 3pm near the Ballantine/Woodburn clock tower. We will have a poster for people of the IU and Bloomington community to write answers to several questions, as well as asking their own.
If you are interested in helping table for this please email secular[at]indiana[dot]edu with your availability.
As many of you have probably noticed, the secular movement is mostly made up of old, white men. Here are resources for those of us who aren’t old, white men!
African Americans for Humanism
African Americans for Humanism is an organization for skeptics, doubters, humanists, and atheists in the African American community. It is a program of the Council for Secular Humanism. To learn more about how to get involved see their about-us page.
Secular Women is an organization with a mission to amplify the voice, presence, and influence of non-religious women. To learn more about their values and how to get involved see their about-us page. They are currently offering free membership to students.
Hispanic American Freethinkers
Hispanic American Freethinkers, Inc. (HAFree) was formed in the Washington, DC area as a non-profit educational organization to serve as a resource and support to all Hispanic freethinkers. You can also connect through their Facbeook page.
Secular Student Alliance
The Secular Student Alliance is an organization to unite, educate, and serve students and student communities that promote the ideals of scientific and critical inquiry, democracy, secularism, and human-based ethics. To learn more about the SSA see their about-us page. The Secular Alliance at IU is an affiliate of the SSA.
SAIU will be making a trip to Elletsville for a hell house! The upfront cost is $10, but drivers with a full car will be reimbursed $4 before departing.
Those attending can meet at the IMU at 7pm to go out to dinner, or meet on the South side of the IMU by the green awning at 8:45 to depart for Elletsville. Email secular[at]indiana.edu with questions.
Hell Houses are haunted attractions typically run by American, fundamentalist Christian churches. These depict sin, the torments of the damned in Hell, and other horrors of a secular society, and usually conclude with a depiction of heaven.
According to the Hoosier Hills website, “The concept of Meal Share is to safely capture prepared food from restaurants, catering businesses and other food preparation entities and distribute it to families in need … The end result is a program that has helped provide nearly 4,000 pounds of healthy nutritious food each month to those in need.”
In order to efficiently set up the carpool, please tell us in a comment below if you are able to drive or are in need of a ride! Hoosier Hills also needs to know how much food to have ready for us to pack so I need an estimate of how many people are planning to volunteer. So, if you are interested, please respond!
The results are in! Unofficially, the de facto category of “I don’t want to send you guys to church” had the most donations, however we are going with the official winner, Baha’i! Five lucky Secular Alliance members will attend a Baha’i service within the next two weeks. Afterward, each will write a brief summary of their experience and post it to saiu.org/blog.
We totaled $82.50 for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Additionally, we have collected $35 in donations throughout the semester this far. That’s $117.5 for LLS, plus the Foundation Beyond Belief is matching donations to LLS by secular organizations. Thanks to all of the generous donors!
If you haven’t had the chance to support Leukemia and Lmphoma Society, don’t worry! You can still help out by donating on SAIU’s team page.
With the recent exposure of the amateur film “The Innocence of Muslims” we wonder, is this kind of outward criticism of religion appropriate? Should we be outwardly critical of religion, keep criticism to ourselves, or not be critical at all?
Join us for discussion over tea and snacks Sunday, Sept. 30 at 7pm in Wylie 115.
In case you missed Sunday’s Russell’s Tea Party, here’s a recap of the dicsussion.
Topic – Morality
Perhaps the most obvious question that drove the discussion concerned how one defines morality. Some members prescribe to Sam Harris’ definition: objective truths that relate to the flourishing of a human’s/sentient life’s well-being. While “well-being” is hard to measure, one member made the comparison to health: there’s no set definition, but you know what is and is not harmful to your health.
Another opinion: morals have different levels of severity. There are civil laws (what is legal and illegal), and there are more Lockeian laws that revolve around the social contract and the consideration of whether or not an action is beneficial and/or harmful for people. Some gray area that comes from this relates to measuring human livelihood when considering whether an act such as murder could ever be justifiable.
The discussion later moved toward considering how to raise children with a solid moral framework, even though they don’t have a fully-developed mental capacity to comprehend everything. One member suggested a grid structure set up as such: permission+not permission/hurt+not hurt. At a basic level, it gives kids something to think about beyond just a yes/no answer from parents.
One question to leave you with: is it easier to recognize what is immoral versus what is moral?
Join us at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, in Wylie 115 for a Sunday Funday!
During the week of Sept. 24-27 from 11am-3pm SAIU will be collecting donations for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Donations act as votes to send 3-5 SAIU members to church. Each day we will be tabling either at the clocktower between Ballantine and Woodburn or inside Ballantine on the ground floor.
If you would like to help table please email secular[at]indiana.edu
Join us for games and snacks on Sunday Sept. 23 at 7pm in Wylie 115
During our Sunday Funday we will be collecting donations for Pages to Prisoners to commemorate banned book week. Pages does not have room for more books at the moment, so instead we’re donating other supplies that they need to keep running.
Items needed are
- clear packing tape
- tape dispensers
- “forever” stamps
- brown paper (like brown paper bags or other paper for wrapping packages)
- regular paper (with printing on one side or new)
- pens (makers/sharpies).